This already feels like a real glory era in the otherwise unremarkable history of Leganes. They made their top flight debuts only last season but already look to have found a formula that allows them to not only survive but flourish in the Spanish top flight. They created another piece of history last week by making the Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals for the very first time but there are doubts as to their capability of coping with this busy month of action.
Betis’ shock loss to Cadiz ensured they would have no Copa del Rey distractions this January and the early signs are that they might just benefit from that. They picked up their first Seville derby win in four years last weekend with a stunning 5-3 triumph across town at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Anyone tuning in expecting a repeat here though might be sadly disappointed. Leganes are almost certainly the most defensive side in La Liga. They really focus a lot of their energy on getting men behind the ball and being tough to break down. They’ve conceded just 0.82 goals per game this term, the third best record in the division behind only Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
However going forward, they offer precious little threat at times and have scored only 0.76 goals per game. No side in the Spanish top flight has scored fewer goals than them so they could probably do with adding some attacking quality this window if they are going to continue to operate in the top half of the league.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out how this game is likely to pan out. Real Betis favour a passing style that should ensure they totally dominate the possession figures in this game. They had a remarkable 75% of the ball at home to Atletico Madrid last month but still lost the game 1-0 and there are similarities between Leganes and Atleti, in terms of their approach.
Clearly Diego Simeone’s side have a bit more quality but Betis will still finding breaking Leganes down tough and a real cat and mouse kind of game could develop. As a result clear goalscoring chances are unlikely to come around very often and backing Both Teams to Score – NO could be worth considering.
The fact both teams have scored in just 44% of Betis games and only 18% of Leganes games this season, certainly backs that up.